Pfizer Inc and its German partner BioNTech announced that a booster shot of their COVID-19 vaccine extends protection against the virus. Clinical trials found that the third dose, given six months after the second should, generated levels of neutralizing antibodies five to 10 times higher than the initial two doses. What's more, the companies say they are planning to tweak the booster shot to target the Indian 'Delta' variant directly as it continues to spread across the U.S. The companies said they plan to publish 'more definitive data' soon and submit it for approval to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The companies said they believe their booster shot has the potential to offer the 'highest levels' of protection against all variants, including the Delta variant. However, scientists are 'remaining vigilant' and are developing an updated version of the third dose. A statement reference a study from Israel that showed a decrease in efficacy against variant six months after being fully vaccinated. 'As seen in real world evidence released from the Israel Ministry of Health, vaccine efficacy has declined six months post-vaccination, at the same time that the Delta variant is becoming the dominate variant in the country,' the companies said in a written statement. 'These findings are consistent with an ongoing analysis from the companies' Phase 3 study.' Data showed that the vaccine still offered significant protection against severe disease, but that efficacy against symptomatic disease declined due to variants. 'That is why we have said, and we continue to believe that it is likely, based on the totality of the data we have to date, that a third dose may be needed within six to 12 months after full vaccination,' the statement read. The company said it is currently working on clinical trial materials for a booster shot to target the variant with plans to begin studies in August. Pfizer's CEO Albert Bourla has consistently stated that he believes Americans will need a third dose, and has even suggested the vaccine will become annual like the flu shot. Officials at Moderna Inc, which is also testing a third dose of its COVID-19 vaccine, have made similar comments about Americans needing booster shots. Source: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-9770667/Pfizer-says-booster-shot-COVID-19-vaccine-extends-protection.html?